The union filed a policy grievance on May 22nd, 2013, regarding the Family Illness provisions of your Collective Agreement. The employer had ceased its practice of allowing employees to take family illness leave to accompany family members to medical appointments (including specialists or providers of services for family members), medical procedures or post-medical procedure care. The union alleged that the employer violated the Collective Agreement, and argued that even if the employer’s new practice was in keeping with a strict interpretation of the Collective Agreement, they were estopped from implementing the change. Essentially, the estoppel argument means that even if the employer is correct in its interpretation of the leave provisions, they are prevented from changing their practice until the union has an opportunity to negotiate new language.
The hearing, which was scheduled for January 31st has been cancelled as a result of a settlement reached today. As part of the settlement, the employer has agreed to make whole any bargaining unit member who was denied family illness leave as outlined above. Accordingly, we are requesting that any member who was denied such leave commencing March 28th, 2013 to present date contact us with the details of the leave denial. Members must be able to establish that leave was requested and denied for that purpose and must provide us with such information no later than Tuesday, February 25th, 2013.
In addition, members may use family illness leave for the purpose outlined above, consistent with past practice, until the signing of a new collective agreement.
Please contact your Employee Relations Officer (ERO) Jo-Ann Bailey by calling 424-4063 or 1-877-556-7438 or by email email@example.com to advise of your claim regarding the above.